Re: Too narrowly defined: DIVISION SIGN & COLON

From: Asmus Freytag <>
Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2012 13:02:42 -0700

On 7/10/2012 11:25 AM, Christoph Päper wrote:
> Leif Halvard Silli:
>> * that the DIVISION SIGN in the (human) mathematical notation of
>> at least one language (Norwegian) functions as a stylistically
>> distinct MINUS sign.
> Ain’t that a stylistic, glyphic (i.e. font-dependent) variant of ‘⁒’ U+2052 Commercial Minus Sign, not a special use of ‘÷’ U+00F7 Division Sign?
No it "ain't", ah, isn't.

Or, put it this way, how do you decide this question?
If you go back in time to before Unicode, all you have is the marks left
in ink on a page. If you find works that have ÷ as a minus sign and
other works that have ÷ as a division symbol, how do you assert that
these are different characters?

That seems nearly impossible.
If, instead, you magically had access to a comprehensive set of type
catalogs of the time and found out that font showings listed either ÷ or
⁒ but never both, then you might have an argument that these really
were, at that time, considered glyph variants of each other. However,
that still leaves you with the puzzling issue of how to accommodate the
usage as division sign, without running afoul of arbitrary font-style

As it happens, no such evidence has been brought forward, and with the
encoding of U+2052 in Unicode 3.2, the encoding model is such that each
of the two shapes correspond to separate characters.

Received on Tue Jul 10 2012 - 15:04:25 CDT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0 : Tue Jul 10 2012 - 15:04:26 CDT